The five Bryan City Council candidates have been as varied with their spending as they have with their campaigns, reports show, with some hopefuls spending tens of thousands of dollars and another spending nothing at all.
The most recent campaign finance reports submitted to the city secretary's office show the expenses and contributions of each candidate for the five-week period from Sept. 25 to Oct. 24, a little more than a week out from the Nov. 3 election.
Former councilman and Single Member District 5 candidate Ben Hardeman has, by far, spent the most money of the five candidates throughout the campaign. Hardeman has spent about $22,000 in total, with $20,127 in expenses paid through political contributions. He's spent $1,757 of his own money. Hardeman also loaned $3,500 to himself.
Hardeman spent most of his money on marketing, advertising and consulting. About $9,620 went to Twinz Co. Marketing for consulting, marketing, web design and advertising. Hardeman paid another $3,277 to KORA-FM, Bryan Broadcasting and The Eagle, and $5,250 was spent on signs and billboards.
Other purchases include a little more than $800 for a fundraiser at Amico Nave Ristorante, PayPal fees and other printing, advertising and marketing expenses.
In addition to being the biggest spender in both the Single Member District 5 and At-Large Place 6 races, Hardeman also brought in the second-largest amount of most money.
Hardeman received a total of $19,359 in political contributions, with $8,910 raised in the last reporting period. A slew of former Bryan mayors and council members contributed to Hardeman's campaign, as well as a few current Bryan officials.
Current Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski and his wife, Tasha, gave Hardeman $300, and outgoing Place 5 councilman Art Hughes gave $800. College Station Councilwoman Julie Schultz and her husband, Joe, also contributed $300. Former mayors Mark Conlee, Ernie Wentrcek and Ron Blatchley gave $1,000, $250 and $100, respectively. Other former Bryan council members who contributed include Dan Galvin, Kandy Rose, Russell Bradley, Michael Beal, Kenny Mallard and Ann Horton.
Hardeman's largest contributions came from the Texas Association of Realtors political action committee in the amount of $1,500 and Timothy Bryan, chairman and CEO of The Bank & Trust, who gave $1,250.
He had one in-kind contribution of $100 from Chandler Arden, owner of Downtown Uncorked, for a photo shoot.
Hardeman outspent his opponent for the District 5 seat, Jarrod Hamlin, by almost six times.
Hamlin, a political newcomer, spent a total of about $3,732. Most of that, $3,648, came from political contributions. Hamlin spent about $84 of his own money, and loaned himself about $500.
More than half of Hamlin's expenditures -- about $2,086 -- was spent on printing, cutting and mailing door hangers, postcards and other mailers, which he spent $200 to have designed. Hamlin also spent $1,197 on yard and road signs.
Other expenses include $50 to rent a room at C&J Barbeque to meet supporters, checks for his campaign account and stamps.
Hamlin brought in more money than he spent -- he had a total of $5,551 monetary contributions.
Among his contributors are former Bryan mayor Lloyd Joyce and his wife, Mary, who gave the largest amount at $500 each. Karen Hall, treasurer of the Citizens for Bryan political action committee, gave $100.
In the At-Large Place 6, Buppy Simank both spent the most money and brought in the most political contributions. He spent about $20,808, all from political contributions. Simank did not take out any loans or have any personal expenses.
Simank paid Twinz Co. Marketing and Phil Shackelford Consulting $6,438 and $3,920, respectively, for consulting services. About $4,600 went toward advertising, and another $1,800 was spent on printing. Simank also paid $2,204 to Bryan Broadcasting and $1,209 to The Eagle.
Other expenses include $600 for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction and PayPal fees.
Simank brought in $27,549 in political contributions, the most of the five candidates running for the Bryan City Council.
His largest contributions came from the Texas Association of Realtors political action committee, $1,500, and Kenneth and Lina Lawson, $4,000. Casey Oldham and Hunter Goodwin of Oldham Goodwin Group, LLC, each gave Simank $250, and Mark Kristen, CEO of Kristen Distributing Co., gave $750. There are also several former local politicians among Simank's contributors.
He also had several in-kind contributions --- $400 from Michael and Sandra Schaefer to rent the Brazos Cotton Exchange facility, $280 from Events to Remember in Navasota for linens and $105 from Luke Ruffins for bar services on Sept. 10.
Simank also reports $1,466 in in-kind contributions from himself and his wife Jennifer for catering on three different dates. Simank is the owner of Buppy's Catering.
Kevin Davenport was the only other At-Large Place 6 candidate aside from Simank with contributions and expenses. Davenport spent a total of $1,637. Like Simank, Davenport did not take out any loans or spend any of his own money.
Davenport's expenditures include $1,427 for advertising and $60 to the city of Bryan parks and recreation department for a fundraiser.
Davenport brought in $2,840 in political contributions, including $50 from Councilman Al Saenz, who represents Single Member District 2. Nathan Favero's $2,000 attribute for most of Davenport's raised funds. He also lists $450 in proceeds from a fundraiser at Sue Haswell Park among his monetary political contributions.
The third candidate for the At Large Place 6 race, Ethan Brisby, did not raise nor spend any money for his campaign. Brisby said in a recent Q&A with The Eagle that this was "strategic and by choice."
Election Day is Tuesday.